Friday, September 11, 2009

How not to catch a flight

As I said in my post about the honeymoon, on our last day we packed up and waited for our pre-paid taxi to the airport.

And waited. And waited.

Eventually I rang the number of the company we had booked with, only to get a recorded message saying "use the website to contact us". I found another number in the small print, rang them and discovered they were sending a taxi to pick us up at the time the flight took off. Once I explained this to them, they sent another taxi. This one didn't turn up either. It turned out it had broken down on the steep hill between Sant Elm and Andratx. So in the 30 degree heat I sprinted to order another taxi from the hotel, then ran back up the hill. This taxi arrived 15 minutes later and we boarded, using a cushion from my Mum's apartment as a booster seat for Lucy. By now we were over an hour late.

But we had no Euros to pay this new taxi. The driver spoke no English at all. On route, I phoned the original taxi company who said they would send a driver to the airport to pay for this new taxi and who would hold up a sign to identify himself. I also rang a Spanish speaking friend of my Mum's in case this fell through. Meanwhile in the back seat Hayley was feeling sick having had a temperature of 101F all day and was consequently holding a nappy bag open in her hand. It didn't help that Lucy was out of her seat and lying on her chest, Hayley trying to keep her under her seat belt.

Arriving at the airport there was no-one to be seen with a sign. By this point we had about 10 minutes to find our check-in desk (of which there are over 100) and check in. Phoning my Spanish speaking friend I asked her to tell our driver that I would pay 60 pounds sterling which was worth much more than the 56 Euro fair. Unfortunately she told him it was worth less! By the time I realised what was going on and grappled the phone back off the driver, the driver from the first company thankfully appeared and saved us by paying up.

We sprinted off to our check in desk getting there with all of 5 minutes to spare. After that it was all plain sailing really. OK, so we had packets of crisps for our dinner with dessert of about a zillion snacks on the plane, but at least we made it home, where (despite loving Mallorca) Oliver and Lucy were clearly pleased to be back amongst their familiar toys again. And we collapsed into our familiar old bed.